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SUWANEE, GA-Minneapolis-based Opus South Corp. has started Opus Gateway, a planned mixed-use community scheduled to house 500,000 sf of retail, 450,000 sf of office and 500 residential units. The project will rise on a 148-acre tract on the Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, about 30 miles northwest of Downtown Atlanta.

Company officials couldn’t be reached by GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to learn the estimated development cost of the project. However, area construction sources tell GlobeSt.com the venture will probably have a hard construction cost of at least $200 million. Sources base their estimate on an average $200 per sf construction cost for office space, $75 per sf for retail and about $90,000 per unit for the residential component.

Sources in a position to know and brokers familiar with the project tell GlobeSt.com Opus Gateway is scheduled for completion between 2007 and 2009. The project is being patterned after a typical American Main Street village.

The developer also plans to build a new road that will link the McGinnis Ferry Extension to the Lawrenceville Suwanee Road. The estimated hard construction cost for that project is still being determined but sources tell GlobeSt.com it will probably be in the $5-million to $8-million range.

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